State OKs GM Tax Break Changes, Biz Aid, Incubator RFP

LANSING — At its final meeting of 2015, the Michigan Strategic Fund board approved an undisclosed cap on tax credits owed to General Motors, as well as , several business expansions and community revitalization projects, support for entrepreneurship, and two Pure Michigan sponsorship agreements.

MSF also made administrative changes aimed at improving efficiencies between the Michigan State Housing Development Authority and the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

The agreement with GM settles the state’s defunct tax credit program with General Motors. That amended agreement includes GM’s plan for a $1 billion capital investment in the state by the end of 2029.

Earlier the state approved agreements with the other two members of the Detroit Three — Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler. Those amounts were released — Ford can qualify for up to $2.3 billion in tax breaks, FCA $1.9 billion. In February, MEDC estimated the value of GM’s state tax breaks at $2.1 billion.

The state said GM will be required to repay a portion of previously issued tax credits if it does not achieve its new projected investment by Dec. 31, 2029. As part of the agreement, GM will provide periodic forecasts of its estimated tax credits to the state to assist the MSF and state of Michigan in budget planning.

Other deals approved included:

* A $500,000 grant to Invenergy Thermal Development LLC to assist in the development of a 280-megawatt power plant at Cliffs Natural Resources’ mining operations in the city of Palmer in Marquette County. Invenergy plans to build the plant in time to replace the Marquette Presque Isle Power Plant before it closes and is proceeding with initial development of the project.
* A Designated Renaissance Zone for an expansion of the Detroit campus of Sakthi Automotive Group USA Inc., a division of India’s Sakthi Group. The company supplies steering knuckles, control arms, brake drums, brake discs, hubs, brake calipers and more to the auto industry. In April 2015, MSF approved the project for a $3.5 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. The project is expected to generate $31.8 million in private investment and create 350 jobs in the city of Detroit.
* A $1 million Community Development Block Grant for the rehabilitation of the Dilworth Hotel in downtown Boyne City. The historic building will be renovated and restored to its historic use as a hotel and restaurant. The project will generate a total capital investment of $9.8 million and create 30 jobs. The city of Boyne City is anticipated to make a contribution of $700,000 through the city’s Local Building Redevelopment Incentives Program. In addition, MSF approved $253,884 in local and school tax capture for the Charlevoix County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority to alleviate brownfield conditions at the site, including lead and asbestos abatement and interior demolition.
* $1,773,700 ni Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based loan participation to Offsite Lake Drive L.L.C., which plans to redevelop the historic Kingsley Building in the Uptown Corridor Improvement District of Grand Rapids. The project will include a significant overhaul of the building’s interior and exterior, resulting in 41 residential units, live-work space and a multilevel parking deck. The project will generate a total capital investment of more than $11.3 million and create two full-time jobs. Grand Rapids has approved an Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act tax abatement valued at $965,892. In addition, MSF approved $1,648,060 in local and school tax capture for the Grand Rapids Brownfield Redevelopment Authority to alleviate brownfield conditions at the site.

The MSF board also approved a one-year extension and $2.3 million in continued funding for two programs of the University Technology Acceleration and Commercialization Program. The UTACP, approved by MSF in 2011, was established to invest in university-business partnerships focused on collaboration, commercialization, economic growth and job creation.

The two programs selected for continuation are:
T3N ($1 million) – A collaboration of seven universities supporting mentors in residence and postdocs towards the commercialization of university projects into licenses and/or startup companies. Since its inception in 2011, the program has created more than 200 jobs, started 38 new companies, attracted more than $28 million in follow-on funding, signed 37 licenses and commercialized several products.
MCRN ($1.3 million) – A collaboration of six universities supporting the collaboration of small companies with public universities in Michigan. The support includes matching funds for new projects, interns and a research portal. Since 2011, the program has created more than 300 jobs, served more than 300 companies, and attracted more than $56 million in follow-on funding.

MSF also approved the Business Incubator Programs Request for Proposals to solicit ideas from high-performance business incubators or accelerators in Michigan to support entrepreneurs in launching and growing start-up technology companies throughout the state.

Proposals must be submitted to the MSF electronically to contractsandgrants@michigan.org by Friday, Jan. 29, 2016 at 3 p.m. Proposals will not be accepted via U.S. Mail or any other delivery method. Prospective bidders may submit questions regarding the RFP via email by Tuesday, Dec. 29 at 3 p.m. to contractsandgrants@michigan.org. The MSF will not respond to questions that are not received by the above date and time. In addition, questions that are phoned, faxed or sent through regular mail will not be accepted. Responses to all qualifying questions will be posted on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016 by close of business on the MSF’s website, http://www.michiganbusiness.org/public-notices-rfps/.

The full RFP is available at http://www.michiganbusiness.org/public-notices-rfps/.

The MSF also approved a three-year partnership with the Detroit Tigers at $325,000 a year. Pure Michigan has partnered with the Tigers since 2012 with a focus on attracting new visitors to Michigan by brand integration within Comerica Park. More than 2.7 million fans attended a game at Comerica Park last year, with more than 27 million viewers.

Also, the MSF approved $700,000 for fiscal year 2016 and $725,000 for fiscal year 2017 to execute two one-year extensions of the Pure Michigan 400 sponsorship agreement. Pure Michigan has partnered with Michigan International Speedway to sponsor the Pure Michigan 400 since 2011, with a focus on attracting new visitors to Michigan and showcasing Michigan’s leisure travel assets from car culture and outdoor recreation.

MSF approved a Memorandum of Understanding between the Michigan Strategic Fund, Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Michigan Housing Development Authority that will realign all community development field staff from MSHDA to MSF under the umbrella of the Michigan Department of Talent and Economic Development.

For more on the MEDC and its initiatives, visit michiganbusiness.org. Michigan residents interested in seeking employment with any of Michigan’s growing companies should check mitalent.org, where more than 92,000 jobs are currently available in a variety of industries.

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